Prostate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the prostate. The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder). The prostate gland produces fluid that makes up part of the semen.

UM St. Joseph Medical Center is a leader in the area in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. As the first community hospital to offer the da Vinci robotic-assisted surgical system for the removal of cancer that is confined to the prostate, our surgeons have performed more than 1,000 prostatectomies, making St. Joseph the most experienced community hospital in all of Maryland.


Treatment options and prognosis depend on the stage of the cancer, the Gleason score, and the patient's age and general health. With greater public awareness, early detection is on the rise and mortality rates are declining. Additionally, new advances in medical technology are enabling patients to go on to live active and productive lives after their treatment.

da Vinci Prostatectomy

You may be a candidate for a less-invasive surgical procedure called da Vinci Prostatectomy. UM St. Joseph Medical Center was the first community hospital in Maryland to perform da Vinci prostatectomy. Learn more about da Vinci Prostatectomy.

Additional Treatment Options

For patients who are not candidates for the da Vinci system, three other state-of-the-art treatments are available:

  • Laparoscopic surgery: For the patient requiring prostate surgery, the benefits of the laparoscopic approach over conventional surgery include less post operative pain, less pain medication usage, shorter recovery time and a quicker return to normal activities.
  • Brachytherapy (radioactive seed implantation): With brachytherapy, radioactive seeds are implanted directly into the prostate, from which radiation will only need travel outward a short distance to reach its cancerous target. It allows for higher dosage levels to be attained, while virtually eliminating damage to healthy tissue.
  • Cryotherapy: Often used when other therapies have not been successful in treating prostate cancer, cryotherapy uses freezing to destroy cancer without the risks of major surgery or radiation. Advances in technology help keep surrounding tissues unharmed by the extreme cold. Liquid argon is circulated within the tumor and the surrounding blood vessels. The tissue is then thawed with an injection of helium gas and the freeze/thaw cycle is repeated once more, thus killing the tumor and its blood supply.

For more information, please call 410-427-5585.